If you’ve been exposed to Paraquat, it’s important that you get in touch with a competent Paraquat lawyer as soon as possible. Navigating the process of determining your benefits as a result of Paraquat exposure can be tricky, and is even tougher to do without help.
Paraquat: A Dangerous Herbicide
RoundUp was one of the most popular herbicides on the market until two things happened:
- Weeds started to become resistant to the spray;
- People began to identify a link between cancer and RoundUp usage.
After this happened, it was clear that a new herbicide needed to be developed that would be safer and more effective than RoundUp. The solution was, unfortunately, equally bad. Paraquat was developed to replace RoundUp, and not long after, it was determined that people who were exposed to Paraquat were beginning to develop Parkinson’s Disease or Parkinsonian symptoms.
Why Is Paraquat Exposure Leading to Parkinsonian Symptoms?
Through laboratory studies, it has been determined that a specific chemical within Paraquat, MPTP, has the ability to cause Parkinsonian symptoms in lab animals. Recently, this link has been identified in humans as well.
MPTP is a contaminant found in some illicit drugs, and acts to destroy neurons responsible for creating dopamine. The destruction of these dopamine cells also occurs throughout the process of Parkinson’s Disease. Thus, symptoms found in Parkinson’s Disease are now being found in individuals who are exposed to MPTP.
How Do I Know If I’ve Been Exposed to Paraquat?
If you worked at, or lived near a facility that uses Paraquat for any length of time, you may be at risk for developing symptoms.
There are a number of ways to identify Paraquat containing products:
- Many products containing Paraquat are dyed blue
- Paraquat products have a unique smell, different from any other scent
- If you had to handle Paraquat at work, you would have had to undergo EPA training, as Paraquat is a “restricted use” substance.
Additionally, individuals who lived near, worked near, or worked at any farms or agricultural facilities may be at risk for Paraquat exposure; especially any facilities that dealt with the crops such as wheat, soybeans, corn, and many others.
The reason that working or living “near” these facilities puts individuals at risk is due to phenomena known as “Pesticide Drift” and “Overspray”.
“Pesticide Drift” refers to a natural and somewhat unavoidable process in which pesticides and herbicides are carried further than their intended areas by wind.
“Overspray” refers to the practice of spraying too much pesticide/herbicide in a given area, or in too wide of an area. This is primarily due to applicator error and inexperience.
I Think I’ve Been Exposed, What Should I Do?
It’s important that you move quickly if you believe you have been exposed to Paraquat. The first step you’ll want to consider is contacting a Paraquat lawyer to ensure that you get all of the money to which you are entitled. It can be difficult to determine the specifics of a Paraquat case without the help of an experienced Paraquat attorney on your side. Call today for a free consultation.